MN: Altec HiLine, LLC to Expand Duluth Port Manufacturing Facility

10 Jan, 2013

Duluth Mayor Don Ness, St. Louis County Board Chair Chris Dahlberg, Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Adolph Ojard and David Faynik, General Manager of Altec HiLine, LLC, announced an intended expansion within a manufacturing facility located in Duluth at 1255 Port Terminal Drive. 

Alec HiLine manufactures the highest-reaching vehicle-mounted aerial device in the country for the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, construction, and lights and signs industries.  Alabama-based Altec, Inc expanded to Duluth in 2002, establishing Altec HiLine as part of a global team that provides products and services in more than 100 countries.

The Altec HiLine business expansion scheduled to occur this spring will include manufacturing equipment upgrades and related machinery that will result in additional jobs. “This is another exciting economic development project for our region involving two successful companies, Altec HiLine and A.W. Kuettel & Sons, working in collaborative with the City of Duluth, St. Louis County, the Port Authority, and the State of Minnesota.” Mayor Ness added, “This is further proof of the resurgence of value-added manufacturing in Duluth, as well as our continuous efforts to work with existing employers to facilitate growth and create new jobs.”  

To support the expansion, the St. Louis County Board is being asked by the City of Duluth and Altec HiLine, LLC to make application to the state of Minnesota’s Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) for a $250,000 Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) loan to be applied to manufacturing equipment purchases which may be forgivable if Altec HiLine meets specific job creation and private investment criteria. The St Louis County Board will formally consider approval of submitting the MIF loan application to the State at a board meeting in February.

To further accommodate Altec HiLine’s growth at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Industrial Building on the Clure Public Marine Terminal, the City of Duluth, the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA), the State of Minnesota and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority partnered to assist A.W. Kuettel & Sons, Inc. with a planned $1.8 million expansion and relocation from the space in the Industrial Building to a newly constructed building in the Duluth Airpark at 3930 Airpark Boulevard. “In 2011 a new facility for A. W. Kuettel and Sons was apparent and the planning began. As we got closer to having a conceptual design and location options early in 2012, Altec was ramping up production in their Duluth location and looking for additional space to expand.”  Jason Kuettel added “As we are currently in the same building as Altec, the news inspired us to aggressively pursue our options with local property managers and our banker to make sure a new facility could become a reality. We concluded that there were some gaps to fill, and started working closely with Altec, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, City of Duluth, DEDA, DEED, ARDC, Minnesota Business Finance and National Bank of Commerce.  Aware of the importance to maintain jobs in Minnesota and securing manufacturing work from outside markets for job growth, we collectively came up with a package deal to make sure these job opportunities would stay in Duluth.  We will be moving into our new facility this spring and would like to thank Altec for the spark!”

The expansion and relocation of A.W. Kuettel & Sons was made possible in part through the Build in Duluth (BID) Program and the State of Minnesota’s JOBZ Program which were approved in June 2012.   A.W. Kuettel & Sons, Inc. is an industrial metal fabricator, mechanical and roof contractor employing over 80 employees and has been headquartered in Duluth since 1924.